My awesome second graders come from a very low socioeconomic background, with the majority falling below the poverty line. They are mainly English language learners (72%) and many of them live in homes which house multiple families under the same roof. The median income is well below poverty level. Some of these seven and eight-year-olds have the sole responsibility of taking care of their younger siblings while their parents are working, with many parents working more than one job. Others are latchkey children.
Our school is Title I and 80% of the children receive free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch.
In addition to the many challenges that these hard-working students face, they also are coping with the fact that our school is situated in a high crime area with frequent gang activity. My children have extremely limited access to technology in their homes, yet with all these obstacles, my students come to school with much enthusiasm and an eager desire to learn.
In 2nd grade, students need to have a solid understanding of working with money. They need to recognize and solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately. Example: If you have 2 dimes and 3 pennies, how many cents do you have? I feel that students need relia such as; a cash register, play money, board games and other hands on activities to make learning come to life. These items will also reinforce their understanding of the concept and make learning fun for everyone. “If kids develop good financial skills from an early age they'll be ready for the financial challenges of adulthood.”
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